Four Questions with retired coach Dwight Hochstetler

Football, FourToday, our Four Questions feature is answered by Dwight Hochstetler, who retired as a head coach from Bowdon in 2014. Hochstetler won state titles at Greenville (1980, 1984) and Bowdon (1992), and his 345 wins rank fifth all-time in Georgia. Hochstetler has worked the past two seasons as offensive line coach at Manchester under his son, Evan Hochstetler, and still lives on his 23-acre farm near Bowdon. He said he might coach one more season but hasn’t decided.

Dwight Hochstetler

1. What is the most memorable game you’ve been a part of as a player or coach? “As a coach, I would say our first varsity game under the lights at Greenville in 1978. It was really special. We played Mount Zion, and they were ranked in the top 10, and we were fortunate enough to win [22-11]. That was our first varsity win at Greenville. The night before, we turned the lights on for the first time, and we must’ve had 300 or 400 people come and sit in the bleachers and just look at the lights. Some people were crying. It was special for them. It was an old school, and they had football at one time in the ’30s and ’40s, and we were starting it back, and they were proud of it.” [Greenville won Class A in its third season, 1980, and again in 1984.]

2. Which high school coach would you want your son to play for, and why? “I know a lot of special coaches, and Georgia has had a ton of good ones. But I would say the coach that coached me, Dwight Tucker. He started the program at my high school, Fairview, which is in Cullman, Ala. There were only two coaches, Coach Tucker and Joe Schultz, who was the basketball coach. It took an effort on both their parts to coach that football team [1963] coaching guys that had never even played football before. It took a lot of pain and patience. He was a father figure to the players. In classes and between classes, he was always surrounded by players and students. He was just that type of guy that you admired.”

3. What is your pet peeve as a coach or favorite saying/motto? “‘Football is a game of hit or be hit.’ Another is ‘Do right and right follows.'”

4. Which GHSA policy or high school football rule would you most like to see changed? “The private-school situation is one I wish they could get a handle on somehow. I think it’s fair now in Class A [with separate public and private divisions for the playoffs]. When I first started the program at Greenville, after that first year, we went to the quarterfinals eight straight years. I don’t think you can do that now because of the private schools. It’s awfully hard for the public schools.”

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